‘Pilot-strapped’ Indigo to curtail 30 daily flights in February and March

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New Delhi | Published: February 14, 2019 9:56:04 AM

Indigo had cancelled 40 flights on Saturday, 35 on Sunday, 32 on Monday and 30 on Tuesday.

IndiGo, which has more than 41 per cent of domestic market share, said the cancellations represent 2 per cent of its flights and that operations would be normalised completely by March 31, 2019.

Shortage of pilots continued to hamper operations of IndiGo with the low-cost carrier cancelling 49 flights on Wednesday from major airports, including Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. IndiGo, which has more than 41 per cent of domestic market share, said the cancellations represent 2 per cent of its flights and that operations would be normalised completely by March 31, 2019. The airline cancelled 40 flights on Saturday, 35 on Sunday, 32 on Monday and 30 on Tuesday.

Sources alleged that passengers were being forced to either buy last-minute fares or was offering them alternate flights with one-stop connectivity.

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While the airline maintains that the cancellations are due to its adjusting flight schedules after the hailstorm that hit parts of north India on Friday last week leading to diversion of several flights, industry sources said the carrier is facing shortage of crew as it has expanded rapidly. According to DGCA regulations, a pilot cannot fly more than 1,000 hours a year.

“The cancellations on February 13 were caused by several factors like anticipated weather conditions on February 14 and NOTAMS at various airports. This resulted in extended duty times which then made it necessary to re-roster our crew and optimise our operations,” Indigo said in a statement.

Indigo also said it has decided to curtail its schedule for the remaining period of this month by “approximately 30 flights a day”.

“This is in order to stabilise its operation and adjust its crew rosters due to the reasons mentioned above. Passengers are in the process of being informed and re-accommodated,” the carrier said.

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